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Using Mnemonics for Exams
A very effective way of structuring information for revision is to draw up a full, colour coded of the subject. This will enable you to see the overall structure of the topic, and make associations between information. A good colour coded Mind Map can be an effective way of remembering information in its own right.
The problem with this is that you can forget the label on a line on a Mind Map. A more reliable method is to take your Mind Map of a subject, and break it down into a list of important points and facts on a large sheet of paper. This list can be ordered into general subject areas. This list should be numbered. Beside all the important facts you can note down associated and supporting information.
Coding exam subjects into Mnemonics
By associating items on a list with a peg such as a number, we can check that we have retrieved all items held by a mnemonic. This numbered list can be remembered using some of the mnemonic techniques explained in Mind Tools:
For simple, short lists, use a simple peg system, such as:
For longer lists we can use The Journey System, remembering key facts at each stop in the journey. Supporting facts can be associated into images or sub-mnemonics triggered at these stops in the journey system, or can be loosely associated in general memory to be retrieved by the cues of the main facts.
Using Mnemonics in Exams
By using mnemonics, retrieving all the facts necessary to answer an exam essay question becomes as simple as running through the mnemonic in your mind, jotting down the retrieved facts that are relevant to the question. Once you have written these down, you can apply any sub-mnemonics you have coded, or jot down any associated facts and connections that occur to you. This should ensure that you have all possible information available to you, and should go a long way towards producing an essay plan.